3 Health Conditions A Gynecologist Can Treat

Gynecology is the branch of medicine that focuses on a woman's reproductive system. For this reason, many women think the only time to see a gynecologist is when they are having abnormal symptoms associated with their menstrual cycle or they think they have a sexually transmitted disease. There are, however, other reasons that women should see this type of specialist.

Here are three health conditions a gynecologist can treat.

1. Pelvic Floor Disorders

The pelvic floor of the body includes all the muscles and ligaments in the lower part of the pelvis. Along with supporting certain organs and body parts, such as the vagina, bowel, and rectum, the pelvic floor also helps these organs to function properly.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with pelvic floor disorders include:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Constipation

Treatment options for pelvic floor disorders include inserting a pessary device and doing pelvic exercises. About one out of 11 women will undergo surgery for their pelvic floor disorder. 

2. Urinary Incontinence

Up to 80% of the 25 million adults in the United States that have this embarrassing condition are women. This is due to the fact that the primary causes for urinary incontinence has to do with pregnancy and childbirth, which both tend to weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Other things that cause urinary incontinence include stress, certain medications, and urinary tract infections.

Some symptoms of urinary continence include:

  • Urine leakage while laughing, sneezing, or lifting a heavy object
  • Having a sudden and intense urge to urinate
  • Constant dribbling of urine

In order to properly treat urinary incontinence, it's important to find the root cause of the condition. For example, if it is caused by an infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. Other treatment options include bladder training, fluid management, pelvic exercises, medications, pessaries, and surgery.

3. Gynecological Cancers

Any type of cancer that begins in the woman's reproductive system is considered a gynecological cancer. The organs that are commonly affected by this type of cancer include the ovaries, cervix, uterus, vagina, and vulva. However, if left untreated, this type of cancer can spread to other organs and parts of the body.

Common symptoms associated with gynecological cancers include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Frequent or difficult urination
  • Itching or burning around the vagina and/or vulva
  • Pelvic pain or pressure

Treatment options usually include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. The earlier a diagnosis for gynecological cancer can be made, the more effective the treatment.